PM backs bill strengthening role of security cabinet, ability to go to war

MEXICO CITY — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expresses support for a proposed draft amendment to Israel’s Basic law that would strengthen the role of the security cabinet, allowing the prime minister to declare war, or order a military operation that could lead to war, with the approval only of the 10-member body.

“For several years now, I’ve thought that Israel’s constitutional framework doesn’t allow it to deal with military challenges in the modern era. The change that is required is to bring the critical decisions to the cabinet,” he tells reporters on the sidelines of a series of meetings with Mexican and Israeli businessmen.

The needed change can happen only as a consequence of new legislation, the prime minister adds. “This is what we’ll do,” he vows.

Netanyahu stresses that he is not referring to any specific military campaign or timing, but rather seeking a “structural change.

The prime minister rebuffed reporters’ questions about US policy vis-a-vis Iran, referring to his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump in New York. “I will hear exactly that the American decisions are based on and what their plans are for the future,” he says.

The bill would have the full cabinet authorize the security cabinet to make decisions about going to war or taking steps that could lead to war. And it would allow decisions to be made even if not all members of the security cabinet were available at the time.

The full cabinet would not need to be briefed on the decisions or the reasons for the decisions, according to the draft.

This bill was prepared by the Justice Ministry in August.

— Raphael Ahren

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